SUDDENLY

‘Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24 Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” – Matthew 8:23-25

A friend of mine recently had two miscarriages. She already had a healthy boy and was trying for another baby but she unfortunately suffered through two miscarriages simultaneously. My friend was confused. After having one healthy boy, having baby number two was supposed to be a breeze and it never occurred to her that she would have a miscarriage talk less of two miscarriages. The miscarriages seemed to come from NOWHERE. They were completely unexpected and there was no indication of them coming until they came. We can actually say that they came “SUDDENLY”.

Suddenly means “quickly and unexpectedly”. This was the case regarding my friend’s miscarriages. They seemed to happen “quickly and unexpectedly”. One minute she was pregnant and the next she wasn’t. Completely heart-breaking.

Jesus and his disciples went through a similar situation. Jesus had been doing amazing work and it was time for him to cross to the other side of the lake to continue doing his work. aqIt was probably meant to be a smooth sail which is why Jesus was sleeping when the storm came. I read this verse recently and I could not miss the words: “Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat”. It tells me that just like my friend’s miscarriage, this was unexpected.

How many times has that happened to us. We make our plans, we organize our lives, we are cruising along and then FROM NOWHERE, Everything seems to go wrong.  How do we respond when the “suddenlies” of this life occur” I believe the best teacher is Jesus Christ and because the bible tells us he is in us and we have his mind, then it means we can respond just as he did.

  • Try not to panic. The disciples saw the storm and panicked and even started believing it was the end for them. It is extremely hard not to panic when everything unexpectedly starts falling apart but I have learnt that actions we take when we panic are often wrong actions based on emotions.
  • Do not be afraid: Yes it looks really really bad but guess what, this storm has been sent to make you afraid and lose your faith. It has been sent to make you lose trust in the one who is in your boat. And who is the one in your boat?
  • Jesus Christ is in your boat and instead of panicking and being afraid, please look at who is in your boat. Remember that he is one through which the world was created and he right there with you. You are not alone. Do not be like the disciples and underestimate the power you have in Christ
  • Speak to that storm. Command it to be still. Not because you are an ordinary person but because you are filled with the same power that raised Christ from the dead and Christ has told us that greater works than him can we do so instead of panicking and being afraid, it is time for us to exercise the power we have.
  • We are told it was a “furious storm”. The storm had an attitude. It wanted to destroy. Jesus and his disciples were on their way somewhere and this storm wanted to stop them. The storm you are facing now is trying to stop you from something and you have the power to stop it. You can not allow this storm to make you a victim. You are more powerful than any attack or storm and ‘greater is the one that is in you than he that is in the world’. FIGHT BACK

I know the disappointment was unexpected. That miscarriage was unexpected. That debt was unexpected. The loss of your job was expected. Losing that loved one was unexpected. You didn’t think you will have to deal with financial issues or a potential broken marriage. It all might seems to have happened suddenly but it does not matter because Christ is in your boat and he has the power to silent every storm and put things right again.

Titi’s Testimony: My Sister’s Miracle Baby

My sister got married in 2012. She was in her 30s when she got married so she wanted to have a baby immediately. My sister is naturally very nurturing so having her own child had been a big desire of her heart and when she finally found a partner who shared this same desire, it was a no brainer. By the end of 2013, there was no baby but that was okay because they were actually enjoying their honeymoon season as a married couple.

2014 came and still no pregnancy so they started to get concerned because they were definitely trying. At this point they decided it was time to speak to professionals in order to find out if there was a reason for the delay. The doctors did tests and came back with a series of reasons why they hadn’t been able to get pregnant. In addition to other reasons, my sister had some fibroids that were creating a hindrance to her ability to get pregnant and she was told she had to have them removed. She did this in 2015 and figured that after the operation having a baby won’t be an issue but it wasn’t the case.

The doctors did more tests and they gave more reasons why they couldn’t get pregnant and the conclusion was that they needed medical intervention to get pregnant and it won’t be possible without IVF. This was difficult news but also good news as many people we know had successfully had children through IVF and so it was a welcome solution even if not the ideal solution. It was also super expensive and they started to save towards it with help from other people. In 2017, they were finally ready to try IVF and so they did try at the end of the year. On Christmas eve of 2017, they found out that the IVF was not successful and that is how they celebrated the holiday season with heart ache and disappointment.

My sister decided she was done trying and was just going to leave the matter to God. She also decided to look into adoption because all that really mattered to her and her husband was to be parents and to love a child whether naturally or through adoption. So in January 2018, my sister started looking into adoption and she was genuinely excited about the prospects. So 2018 began with the decision to adopt and we started talking to other friends who had successfully adopted.

Then in March 2018, my sister called me with incredible news. SHE WAS 10 WEEKS PREGNANT. Oh my heart was so happy. The whole time she was looking into adoption, she was actually pregnant, without any kind of medical intervention. Contrary to every medical report, my darling sister was PREGNANT and that was an incredible testimony. We were so happy and looking forward to our yummy baby in October.

However, the devil being a liar and a thief that he is tried to steal our joy. My sister called me in April and said she had gone for what was meant to be a 3 months scan but when they checked, they could not find the baby and the sac looked empty. They said there was no baby and she had to have an operation to remove the pregnancy. This is called a D&C (Dilation & Cutterage) or an evacuation. My sister did more scans 2 weeks after and the result was the same, there was no baby in the sac and she needed to have the pregnancy removed as soon as possible. In fact my sister started to ask me about my experience with the same procedure and what she should expect. The whole situation was so painful. After 6 years of believing and trusting and faithing, the story was going to end with this disappointment and it was upsetting.

I remember my sister coming to visit me on a Friday, she was meant to go for the procedure that same day but she decided to stop by and pray. As we spoke, I told her I still believed she could have her baby and that she didn’t have to do the procedure. I was about 6 months pregnant with my second baby and even used that pregnancy as a point of contact for my sister. This must have been the Holy Spirit speaking through me because despite my faith, the situation really looked hopeless. We also called my brother (remind me to tell you about him one day) and he also said the same thing. He believed the baby was there and told her not to have the procedure. Despite having somewhat radical faith, I sometimes have a sense of rationality but this one was on the complete radical spectrum. I refused to believe that this was the end of the story and I told my sister as much. We all prayed and my sister decided she’ll wait until Monday before the procedure. We chatted on Sunday and she told me how she had woken up that morning filled with complete peace and she spent the whole day just praising and dancing. She refused to allow herself to wallow in sorrow and she actively found her joy.

A friend of hers called her that same day and suggested she tried yet another lab for a scan. My sister decided she had nothing to lose and went in for a scan on Monday for one last time before the procedure. She laid down and expected the same bad news about an empty sac so she was completely stunned when the radiologist started talking about the foetus and how many weeks old the baby was and all kinds of information she had not expected. My sister could barely speak as she called me while still in the lab looking at the screen. The radiologist was confused by her reaction and then she told him about the previous report. He was also surprised because he could see a baby in the womb, how could they have seen an empty sac before, not once but multiple times. How could they have told her to go and get the pregnancy removed with an evacuation when right there was a growing baby.

I know God is always turning situations around but the entire story of my sister’s daughter is the greatest testimony of 2018 for me. In October 2018, we welcomed our precious baby girl aptly named Precious. She is the most beautiful baby girl and she is such a blessing. Every time I look at her I am in complete awe of God’s Grace and I always say: “But they said the sac was empty, this is a real life baby”.

Imagine if my sister had believed the very first report and not delayed and tried other scans. Our daughter won’t be here, and we would have not been able to share this testimony. What if my sister had allowed the negative report to steal her joy and trust in God? What if she became bitter and just chose to live by sight and not by faith. I truly believe the state of our mind can also cloud our ability to see where God is working. She chose joy and in the midst of that she could choose to try one last scan instead of going to get the d&c in anger! Sometimes anger is the hindrance to our testimony. I am always learning that it is so key to stay joyful no matter what we see.

I truly pray that no matter what you are going through, that you won’t lose your trust and faith in an amazing God who loves you as a father would. I pray you will choose to turn to him despite what life throws at you. I pray you will stay strong in the midst of the storm because Jesus Christ is in your boat and he can silent every storm. I pray my sister’s story is a blessing to you and the boost your faith needs. Please share your story with us and be a light to someone else. Leave your comments and thoughts and questions.

 

Light and love

 

Tito.

A PROMISE KEPT

 

My baby Joshua is fast approaching 2 and he is beginning to really show how independent he is. I remember when he was so tiny he could barely lift his head and I had to do everything for him. Now this young fellow is rejecting meals by telling me: “I don’t want it”. I cook everything he likes and it is still always a battle to get him to settle down and eat.

Anyway, a few days ago, in one of my bids to get Joshua to eat, I had to bribe him. I made a promise to give him something he absolutely LOVES. I promised to take him outside once he finished his food. My son loves to go outside and he probably requests to go outside at least 10 times a day. I was amazed at how quickly he ate his food after I had spent ages begging and cajoling simply because I made him a promise.

By the time he finished eating, baby boy was tired, so he sat down contentedly in the living room playing with his toys. He seemed to forget that Mummy had him made a promise. In that instant I could have gotten away with not keeping my promise because the recipient of the promise was no longer interested and I honestly considered it. But my conscience didn’t let me get away with it. I knew I had to keep my promise to my son whether he asked or not, it was my responsibility to fulfil my part of the deal. So I took him outside as promised and he was so happy.

As we took our walk outside, God reminded me that he is the ultimate promise keeper. He showed me how even a mere human being like myself could be so determined to keep a promise I made to my son. How much more the King of all Kings that is not limited by anything. I was reminded of the verse that says “for Iam watching over My word to accomplish it.” (Jeremiah 1:12). It means it is not my responsibility to keep to the word but God’s. My part is to simply trust him.

God explained to me that it is true I have been disappointed many times by people who refused to keep their promises and that has made me approach his promises with some level of caution and scepticism. Although I know God is able to do anything, I found myself giving him a pass and making excuses for him in case his promises didn’t come through. And that is kind of counterproductive, because how do you have a genuine expectation from someone you don’t trust 100%. Faith can not work if doubt is prevalent.

 “Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses]” (Hebrews 11:1 AMP)

This is why Abraham is considered the Father of our faith because when God made him a promise, he immediately accepted it without considering all the odds against him. As far he was concerned, once God said it then it was a done deal.

“Abraham was first named “father” and then became a father because he dared to trust God to do what only God could do: raise the dead to life, with a word make something out of nothing. When everything was hopeless, Abraham believed anyway, deciding to live not on the basis of what he saw he couldn’t do but on what God said he would do. And so he was made father of a multitude of peoples. God himself said to him, “You’re going to have a big family, Abraham!”

19Abraham didn’t focus on his own impotence and say, “It’s hopeless. This hundred-year-old body could never father a child.” Nor did he survey Sarah’s decades of infertility and give up. He didn’t tiptoe around God’s promise asking cautiously skeptical questions. He plunged into the promise and came up strong, ready for God, sure that God would make good on what he had said. That’s why it is said, “Abraham was declared fit before God by trusting God to set him right.” But it’s not just -=; it’s also us! The same thing gets said about us when we embrace and believe the One who brought Jesus to life when the conditions were equally hopeless. The sacrificed Jesus made us fit for God, set us right with God.” (Romans 4:17-25 msg)

Don’t be like me, don’t be doubtful and sceptical, choose instead to completely trust God at his word, whatever that may be. God will keep his promise. He really will. If a human being like me was so determined to keep my promise to a 2 year old, how much more can we trust our Father. If we continue to approach him with doubts and mistrust then even when he keeps his promises, we will miss them because we are not expectant.

If God has made you a promise then best believe he will keep that promise. This is not just about promises he made about specific issues but every promise in the bible belongs to us and when we choose to believe God and trust him to keep his word then we can truly be recipients of his promises. Start to bless God for his promises, start to speak about them as though they have happened because they will happen.

Bible verses to meditate on:

Isaiah 55:11-12

For just as rain and snow fall from heaven and do not return without watering the earth, making it bud and sprout, and providing seed to sow and food to eat, 11so My word that proceeds from My mouth will not return to Me empty, but it will accomplish what I please, and it will prosper where I send it.

 

Numbers 23:19
God is not a man, that He should lie, or a son of man, that He should change His mind. Does He speak and not act? Does He promise and not fulfill?

DADDY

My son Joshua’s favourite word is probably DADDY. Joshua says Daddy as if he invented the word and he is the only one who has a DADDY. He uses the word as he deems fit, changing volume and stress on the word. Sometimes he whispers it, sometimes he says it in a monotone and sometimes he REALLY stresses it: “DADDDDDDDYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY”. He especially does this when he has been repeating the word constantly with no response or when he REALLY needs his Dad to pay attention to him. It does not matter if he can physically see his Dad or not, that does not deter him from calling his name. And he doesn’t only refer to his Dad as “Daddy”, sometimes he calls him “Bez” and other times it is “Babe”. At the end of the day, he knows who is DADDY is and does not hesitate to use his name when necessary.

He calls Daddy when he is sad and he is crying. He calls Daddy when he is having a pretty good time and laughing. He calls Daddy when he has a question. He calls Daddy when he needs something. He calls Daddy to report something Mummy did to him. He calls Daddy on every occasion of His life. He has a lot of confidence and trust in his Daddy. In his eyes, Daddy is larger than life and can do no wrong. At the moment, in my son’s eyes his Daddy is all knowing and all-powerful and perfect.

I have a little secret for Joshua though, something I am going to make it my life’s mission to teach him. And that is the fact that I know someone who is GREATER than his Daddy. I am going to tell him about MY PERFECT Daddy. Not my biological Dad who I love dearly but the DADDY that is above every other Daddy. My Daddy who is the king of all Kings and the Lord of Lords (1 Timonthy 6:15), My Daddy who created Joshua’s Daddy and Joshua as well (Colossians 1:16). My Daddy fixes all my problems when I call on him and I will tell Joshua about my Daddy who has comforted me when my heart was completely broken (Psalm 34:18). My Daddy in whose presence there is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11). The Daddy who is my shield and my strength (Psalm 28:7), my ever present help in times of need (psalm 46:1). My Daddy who loves me with an unconditional and everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:1). My Daddy who loved me so much that he sought a way to pay for my sins and transgressions in advance by giving up his ONLY BEGOTTEN SON so that I could earn the RIGHT to call him DADDY (Romans 8:17-20).

DO YOU KNOW WHO MY DADDY IS?

What a privilege to have a Daddy like mine. The Daddy who never disappoints and who is always with me and has promised me that he will never leave me nor forsake me (Deut 31:6). The one who does not sleep or slumber (Psalm 121:4) (Joshua’s Daddy can’t even compete because I am a witness to him sleeping). My Daddy speaks a word and watches over it until it achieves what he has sent it to do (Jer 1:12). The bible says I was created by the true word of God (James 1:17), which means I am also his word, and so he is watching over me to ensure I achieve all that he created me to do. THAT IS MY DADDY. My Daddy NEVER EVER FAILS and even when I feel like my Daddy is late in answering my call, he shows me over and over and over again that he is actually ALWAYS ON TIME and makes sure EVERYTHING WORKS OUT FOR MY GOOD (Romans 8). That is MY DADDY.

My Daddy is unlimited (Job 36:22-24). He created the heavens and the earth and his workmanship is pretty marvellous and that includes me (Psalm 139:14). THAT IS WHO MY DADDY IS.

Don’t you dare come for me because I will call my DADDY on you and he will send his angels to fight for me and you will regret ever coming against me (2 Kings 6:16). My Daddy is MIGHTY in battle (Psalm 24:8) and even the blacksmith who creates the weapons was created by my Daddy (Isaiah 54:16) so that is who is on my side. The LORD of heavens armies is MY DADDY and he does not play with his most precious possession which is me (Zechariah 2:8).

My Dad is known by many names, some call him ADONAI, others call him EL-SHADDAI. He is also JEHOVAH. He is Jehovah Jireh, Nissi, Shalom and many others. Joshua is not the only one with a Daddy with different names. I call my Dad by his various names as I please because he is MY DADDY.

There is so much I can say about my DADDY as my provider, my protector, my safe place, my healer.. I can go on and on and on AND on….

Just in case you don’t know, we share the same Daddy through Christ and you can boast about your Daddy too. If you want to enjoy the privileges I have because of who my Daddy is and you are not sure how to, then please leave a comment and I can share more with you about my Daddy.

If you know we share the same Daddy then please do me a favour……

 

BOAST ABOUT YOUR DADDY PLEASE!!

The Naughty Corner

Joshua and I got into a fight the other day and I was so upset with him. I honestly can’t remember the details of what he did but I remember being LIVID. I also remember putting him in his naughty corner until he apologised. The apology NEVER came. His Dad told him to say Sorry and he gave him a completely blank stare. He chose his naughty corner over saying sorry and on some level my heart broke.

Eventually it was dinner time and when he got hungry he had the cheek to tell me “Yum Yum”. To be honest I considered the option of letting him starve (I KID I KID) but the mother in me could not even breathe at the thought so I gave him dinner. And after dinner it was bath time. At this point, the incident was a past issue as we had fun through out dinner and after.

As I put him in his tub and we started to bath, we were singing and dancing when my baby stopped, looked at me and said the words: “SORRY” and my heart BURST with joy. I didn’t even realise how much I needed to hear those words but apparently I did.

What then occurred to me is how we are with our Father and Creator. I realised that even though Joshua had been very naughty and I was disappointed, it did not stop me from loving him. I did discipline him but even in the midst of that I was still thinking about his needs. I was still consumed with making sure he ate and took a bath. Whether he apologised or not did not stop me from loving him and being his mother.

A lot of us are stuck with the thought that God holds back from blessing us because we did something wrong. When we get in trouble, we don’t want to run to God because we remember we messed up and expect that he’s pretty pissed off so he won’t help us. We even secretly think God is the one behind our misfortune and that makes us run even further from him.  Even after we confess and ask for forgiveness profusely a part of us think God is still putting us in the naughty corner.

I had the same fears and concerns. I never used to want to ask God for anything because in my mind I didn’t deserve it. I mean after two abortions, I felt I was not worth God’s love and forgiveness. Even when I knew he had forgiven me, I still was scared of future punishment and every time I made mistakes, I was sure that God would punish me in one way or the other. So if I had financial problems I immediately remembered I didn’t give a beggar money and so of course God was punishing me for being stingy. Forget that I gave that same beggar money 3 days before and I only didn’t give because I didn’t have cash. In my mind, God was justified in holding back certain blessings because I had not been an exemplary human being. I was just sure that God would leave me in the naughty corner forever.

“Forty-six years later and I still hadn’t made it out of the naughty corner.”

What I didn’t realise is that nothing can truly separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:31-39) which is why Paul prayed that “may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.” (Ephesians 3:18 NLT version). The truth is that there is barely anything my son can do that will make me stop loving him. It does not mean that I won’t correct him or discipline him but love would ALWAYS be my motivation so even as I discipline him, I would make sure he eats and he is taken care of. AND I AM ONLY HUMAN.

How much more our heavenly father who loved us so much that he gave his only beloved son for our sake.

God is not the one behind that shame and condemnation that is holding you back from enjoying the blessings he has given so freely to us. He also is not the one punishing you and the reason why things aren’t so great (That is the job of the Devil). He won’t give his son for you and then hold back every other thing from you (Romans 8:32). It is not possible.

Does this mean we should take that love for granted and do whatever we please? NO WAY! But when we do miss our way and do what we want instead of going his way, then we should understand that his discipline is NOT his condemnation and he still loves us beyond our imagination. He still will bless us and give us more than we need because he is our Father and loves us too much to watch us suffer. The only time he sat back and watched his child suffer was when Christ was crucified and he allowed that for your sake and once that was done, it meant we won’t ever have to experience that again.

So please free yourself from the naughty corner, God released you from it and he wants to take care of you and love you as his own. Don’t stay in the corner longer than you ought to.

Enjoy God’s love.

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